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South Carolina

Thursday, September 11, 2008 11:41am
By: Accsports Staff

April 21, 2003

Spring 2003 Overview

The PooP

Fifth-year coach Lou Holtz is out to show that his back-to-back seasons of 8-4 (2000) and 9-3 (2001) were more reflective of what's going on at USC these days than last year's 5-7 disappointment. The Gamecocks have come a long way from Brad Scott's 1-10 team (1998) and Holtz's embarrassing 0-11 debut (1999) in Columbia, but they're still looking for a crowning achievement in a very tough league. That challenge will be tackled this fall by a group long on talent but short on returning starters. Nevertheless, with a reasonable nonconference schedule (Louisiana-Lafayette, Virginia, Alabama-Birmingham, Clemson) looming, including a whopping eight home games, a quality bowl is a reasonable goal for this team.

Probable 2003 Starters

Offense

Pos. Name Ht./Wt. Class
QB Dondrial Pinkins 6-2/245 Jr.
RB Kenny Irons 5-11/195 So.
WR Chavez Donnings 5-11/180 Sr.
WR Taqiy Muhammad 5-11/182 Jr.
WR Troy Williamson 6-2/200 So.
TE Hart Turner* 6-5/247 Sr.
LT Travelle Wharton* 6-4/315 Sr.
LG Jabari Levey 6-7/340 So.
OC John Strickland 6-5/304 Jr.
RG Jonathan Alston 6-5/302 Jr.
RT Na'shan Goddard 6-6/305 So.
PK Daniel Weaver* 6-1/206 Sr.

 

Defense

DE George Gause* 6-5/265 Jr.
NT Preston Thorne 6-0/273 Jr.
DT Darrell Shropshire 6-2/299 Jr.
DE Moe Thompson* 6-3/280 So.
LB Jeremiah Garrison*+ 6-1/233 Sr.
LB Ricardo Hurley 6-3/233 So.
LB Lance Laury*+ 6-2/231 So.
SS Rodriques Wilson 6-2/217 Jr.
FS Jamacia Jackson 6-1/210 Jr.
CB Deandre' Eiland* 6-0/210 Sr.
CB Dunta Robinson* 6-0/185 Sr.
P Josh Brown 6-2/190 So.

* — returning starter
+ — injured/missed spring drills

Coming On Strong

The Gamecocks have a handful of potential stars, their first string is pretty solid from top to bottom and even their depth is impressive at several spots. Considering that they're also expecting some immediate-impact jucos and freshmen in the incoming class, this team should turn around last year's record without much of a problem. Rock-solid returning starters: DE George Gause, CB Dunta Robinson, DE Moe Thompson, OL Travelle Wharton. Also looking good: OL Na'shan Goddard, LB Ricardo Hurley, FS Jamacia Jackson, LB Marcus Lawrence, OL Jabari Levey, WR Taqiy Muhammad, DT Darrell Shropshire, LB Rod Thomas, WR Troy Williamson.

Cause For Concern?

Holtz and son Skip, his offensive coordinator, have gone back and forth repeatedly between the philosophies preferred by father (conservative) and son (wide-open). The Gamecocks' 2003 personnel on that side of the ball actually presents the opportunity for the program's most balanced approach in years, but Lou must follow through on the hands-off approach he adopted this spring if USC is going to maximize its scoring potential this fall. Also: shuffling of assistants' responsibilities, new quarterback, new tailback, new safeties, depth on both lines, punter.

On The Sidelines

The following players missed all or most of spring drills: LB Jeremiah Garrison (chest), LB Lance Laury (knee), DT Eric Stroman (foot), WR Matthew Thomas (suspended), DT Chris Tucker (foot), OL Chris White (neck).

Spring Cleaning

The following scholarship athletes left the program in the past 12-18 months with eligibility remaining: DE Ron John-Finn, RB Thez Robinson (dismissed), WR Matthew Thomas (suspended/may return), DB Travis Weston.